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‘Big Burden’ For Schools Trying To Give Kids Internet Access

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FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2021 file photo, a Suder Montessori Magnet Elementary School teacher speaks to students during a virtual class outside of the school in solidarity with pre-K educators forced back into the building in Chicago. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down schools, leaders had to figure out how to get kids online. In a patchwork approach borne of desperation, they scrounged wireless hot spots, struck deals with cable companies and even created networks of their own. (Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

Schools had to figure out quickly how to get kids online after the coronavirus pandemic shut them down. They had to work with a patchwork approach born of desperation due to the federal failure to get all Americans connected. They scrounged wireless hot spots, struck deals with cable companies and even created networks of their own. Funding challenges and logistical difficulties in getting students what they needed have left as many as 12 million public schoolkids without reliable home broadband. States and philanthropists were crucial. Still, schools are likely to play a role in connecting kids well beyond the pandemic.

 

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